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|We snapped Samuels & Associates? Peter Sougarides at a recent SMPS breakfast. He was on a panel recounting how theFenway transformed from No Man?s Land to a hot submarket. Later this year, Samuels will start building an ambitious new mixed-use project with high end rental apartments and retail. The developer certainly wasn't thinking luxury residential when it bought a two-acre parking lot in ?97. Then, the idea was a supermarket, maybe low-rise retail. But after a four-year rezoningeffort with the community and BRA and the continued growth of neighboring Longwood Medical Area as an economic driver, Samuels built the luxury Trilogy and accompanying retail. Its latest mixed-use project, Boylston West, will be the Fenway?s next link to the Back Bay.|
|The BRA's Jonathan Greeley tells us that city planners worked with residents and developers to devise new zoning aimed at creating an urban village. It allows for greater height and densityand scales back the parking required per apartment. Transit connections between Fenway, LMA, and Kenmore will be linked more efficiently. Boylston Street will be rebuilt with lanes for bikes, green space, and setbacks that invite outdoor sidewalk dining. Just before this baseball season started, the Red Sox completed a 10-year renovation of Fenway Park, Boston's second-largest tourist attraction.|
|Meredith Management prez John Rosenthal, whom we snapped as the breakfast broke, answers the mystery: Why did he begin his1.3M SF Fenway Center project with construction of the new MBTA stop? ?The BRA made me,? he says. John's very close to closing financing to start on the rest of Phase 1: 102 rental apartments with retail, parking for 750 vehicles, and a new roadway. Subsequent phases will have offices, more residences, retail, and parking. He started assembling the site in ?97 with a one-acre parking lot and went through years of planning with the community and city. It was worth the time to think through the plan, he says, since so much else in development is luck, timing, and the financial wherewithal to ride the cycles.|